Customer Service Tips
1. Posture Begets Performance – Always sit up straight and smile when you take a call, it shows.
2. Say It Again - Acknowledge the customer’s issue by relaying it back to them to make sure you understand they’re asking. It validates the customer and ensures that you understand the issue.
3. The Winner Is, Confidence - He with the most certainty wins, and this isn’t about lying to your customer by covering it up with ego or force. People want to know that everything will be okay. Lead them with your person power in the direction that is for the highest and best for both parties.
4. Be You, Not a Script – Get off the script—LISTEN and respond to what’s really going on.
5. Use Your Pleasant Tone – Use hopeful and helpful words. If you’re going to do something for your customer, then why not get “extra credit” by using words like, “I’d be happy to…” or “It would be my pleasure to…”- These hopeful and helpful words make the customer happy and make you look superb.
6. Common Courtesy - Always thank the customer for calling, especially if it’s a complaint call. If they hadn’t called you would never have the opportunity to turn them into a productive interaction.
7. Don’t Make ‘Em Wait – Never keep a customer on hold for more than 30 seconds. If you are going to need to leave them on hold for more than that amount of time offer to call them back.
8. Action Afterwords Matters – Follow through to ensure your (internal/external) customer commitments are honored.
9. Put Your BEST People On The Phone – The #1 key to customer service is to understand that customer service is a skilled trade and should not be considered an entry level position. Pay attention to what the customer is saying and don’t attempt to do something else at the same time.
10. Under Promise & Over Deliver – Never promise more than you can deliver. It’s always better to exceed customer expectations than to disappoint them.
11. Know The Basics – If a company has service people who are going to a customer location to deliver service, make certain they have had basic communications training.
12. No Sweeter Word In The English Language - Remember names!
13. No One Else Does - Send hand written thank you cards periodically.
14. First Impression - Introduce yourself in a positive manner right after answering the phone. Saying your name right away gives the customer confidence and established a more personal rapport with the customer.
15. Voice to Voice – Don’t hide behind e-mail. Pick up the phone and return phone calls.
16. It’s OK Not To Know, It’s Not OK Not To Address – Admit when you don’t know something BUT follow through with finding out the answer for them – not passing them on to someone else. Nothing will form a bond with your customer quicker than you revealing that you are human.
17. It’s Alive!!! – A consumer who started with a live person instead of an automated system is two times more likely to conduct future business with the company. Tip: Consumers want easy-to-navigate systems that provide them with the capability to easily reach a live agent. They also want multiple communication options – telephone, e-mail, chat, and Web site.
18. What Goes Around Comes Around – Become your customer’s customer. When possible take advantage of the products and services offered by your clients. By showing your support of their business they will help build more trust in the relationship.
19. How Can We Make It Better? - Ask your customer, every single time, if there is anything you can do better or different to make them happier the next time. Sometimes, they give you priceless feedback that changes the way you do business. Often, that question alone fixes issues. Always they appreciate being asked.
20. Make It Memorable – Create a memorable experience for your customers so they continue to keep coming back!
21. It’s More Than OK To Apologize, It’s Mandatory - When mistakes happen – and they frequently do – empower your employees to apologize sincerely to the customer and give a little something (free shipping, a discount coupon, etc.) to make amends.
22. Smile, Their Listening – Smile while you are on the phone with a customer. It really does make a huge difference.
23. Focus – Give them your full attention. Always treat the client you are speaking with as if they are you only client.
24. Focus More - Focus on what they need, not what you “sell” and always give value added.
25. Let Communication Flow – From the top to the first line supervisor, make sure your leadership team knows how to document suggestions and pass them on to the correct person who can properly evaluate and take action if needed.
26. It’s Really Quite Simple - Customer service is just just about the basics, it’s about reacting swiftly to satisfy customer needs and then continuously use that precious feedback to innovate your offerings and process!
27. Half Empty Or Half Full? – When we treat our responsibilities as tasks, we treat our customers as tasks; they end up feeling processed. When we treat our responsibilities as opportunities to create positive experiences, customers feel valued.
28. Solutions Aren’t Always Necessary – Don’t offer advice unless you’re asked for it – often customer, clients and guests just want to talk, and don’t want your solution. It’s refreshing to realize that you don’t always have to fix everything.
29. Do You Spell Bob With One or Two O’s? - Don’t automatically call your customer by their first name…ask how they prefer to be addressed while you assist them.
30. People First - Serve your customer not your business systems…never let your business systems dictate how you do business!
31. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate - Keep your customers apprised of a situation- Communicate with them. Most people are understanding if they realize they are not being ignored and they are treated as if the matter. In these tough economic times, not only price is important, but service is paramount.
32. Hey, Look At You! – When scanning the business section of the paper, notice any customers or contacts with accomplishments and send a handwritten note of congratulations.
33. The Higher Road – Always answer and angry e-mail with kindness and diplomacy.
34. Watch Your Email Tone - When responding to e-mail try to remember that tone is not translated. Your quick “no” or “yep” won’t communicate to as well as a full sentence explaining your answer. Take the few moments to provide a full thought.
35. What’s The Next Step? – Before ending a call, make sure that both of you and the customer have a mutual understanding of what has/will be done to resolve their issue.
36. Brag The Right Way – Never say “I’m great.” Instead say “My customers tell me that they love working with me because .”
37. Lemons Into Lemonade – Approach every negative customer inquiry as an opportunity to learn from them and make them into an advocate.
38. Go The Extra Mile - Customers always recognize the extra effort. They will remember and repeat to others your “above and beyond” attitude. In this time of “automated, cannot reach a customer service person atmosphere” a personal touch goes a long way.
39. We’re All Humans Here - Listen from the customer’s perspective – not from your procedures. “Proceduritis” is one of the top three killers of customer service.
40. Make It Personal - When someone emails you with an inquiry or request, always respond by using their name in the e-mail and thanking them first and foremost for their interest/business. Always include your email signature which has your direct e-mail address and a phone number.
41. Go It Alone, Kinda – Solve the customer’s problem or issue with as little involvement of the customer as possible.
42. Listen Closely - Always listen and take good notes when chatting with customers about their lives. Customers offer clues about what they want and how they want to be served, which helps cater your service to them and makes them feel more appreciated. (And taking notes helps, too…for example, if a customer mentions their cat was sick, the next time they call, we’re sure to remember to ask how their cat is doing.)
43. Communicate With Strength – Too many customer service representatives take the weak road and lack confidence when discussing issues with customers. If you’re not confident in your product/service, they (the customer) are not going to be confident in talking with you.
44. Relax, Then Relate – If you are relaxed you will put your customer at ease. If you are relaxed you will relate to them in an effective and powerful fashion. Otherwise you will miss the boat and not make the human connection you need to make. Top notch customer service is all about the human connection.
45. No Distractions - Turn OFF your cell phone, don’t even look at it or check to see who called when you are dealing with a customer.
46. Give It To Them Two Ways – Follow up with a phone call after communicating with a customer through e-mail.
47. Be The One - One stop shopping is preferred and promoted; where possible avoid transferring calls and e-mails.
48. It’s More Than Words -Focus on behaviors, not just tasks. For example, maintain a positive attitude and watch your body language. Be aware of the customer’s body language, too, to uncover what he/she might not be saying verbally.
49. Make People Feel Important – Every company out there knows customers are important. But as a customer how important do you normally feel when dealing with these companies? With all the advertising and all the talk about customer service, with all the blather about customer-centric companies, making people feel important is still the easiest way to differentiate yourself, and your company from the competition.
50. Go Above And Beyond – Manage customer expectations, and then exceed them.
51. Feel Their Pain – Walk a mile in your customers’ shoes.
52. Make Them Better – Give solutions that help the customer achieve more in their job.
53. Be Fun, Be Real -Have a graceful, humorous, or personalized error message ready to be put up in the event of a page or site outage to let the customers know you’re aware of and addressing the issue.
54. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is - Guarantee 100% customer satisfaction or give them their money back.
55. Served Their Way – Sell the way your customers want to buy. You might prefer customers order off your website rather than by phone, but what do THEY prefer? Stop doing what’s easy for you and start doing what’s easy for them.
56. Put It In Writing - Few people know what to say in a difficult customer situation, especially when a situation is coming at you at 80 miles an hour – so pick up a good customer service book, write down what to say in your most challenging situation, and pass it around to everyone on your team.
57. Be A Fast Yes Man - Be fast to yes, and slow to no with customer requests.
58. Be Sorry, And Then Fix It - Apologize when something goes wrong and then fix it immediately. This is a very important customer service issue. Your customers can be very forgiving if you can fix the problem quickly. If the problem cannot be solved immediately, make sure to keep the customer informed as to your progress. This can be in the form of phone calls or e-mails.
59. Promptness Pays Off – Ship the same day the order is received.
60. Make It Simple, Not Simplier – Most customers don’t understand what you do nearly as well as you do. That’s why they are customers afterall. So make sure you communicate and deliver things as simply as possible… but DON’T make you service or product simplified. Your job is to make the customer consumption of your product or service really easy, but it is not your job to make the product or service itself simple and watered down.